Stand Upon the Word
I Stand Close to the Word of God
How would your youth group sing this old Sunday School song? How
would you, as the leader, sing it?
B-I-B-L-E, Yes, that’s the Book for me. I
stand alone on the Word of God,The B-I-B-L-E,
that’s a book for me. I stand close to the Word of
authority is under attack in our society, our schools, and even
in some churches. Belief in the Bible as the inspired,
inerrant and valid
of God has been questioned from the time of the apostles. Beginning with
the beloved Apostle John, godly men and women have stood against the
tide of popular
belief in order to validate and preserve the inspiration of Scripture.
Many today also declare that it alone provides God’s message of
salvation and His commands to those who desire to live holy, productive
lives as His
servants. The attack continues. Even some who claim to be Christians
fail to honor God as sovereign and to obey the commands of Scripture.
The Ideas that Led to Change
In modern times, attacks upon the Bible as the Word of God come
from several “-isms,” or ideologies that have strongly
influenced our culture and religion. The most powerful and recognizable
of these is Secular Humanism, which arose and gained popularity
in the 1600s. As men expressed greater faith in the scientific
method and the reasoning of man they began to question the teachings
of Scripture. Over the past three or four centuries, the human
intellect has replaced God’s Word as the source of truth.
Since the existence of God could not be proven in a laboratory,
both His existence and His Word were dismissed as myth and fable.
As Secular Humanism
began to influence Christianity, liberal theologians replaced
historic Christian doctrines and practices with new and
fashionable ideas. Social programs became more important than the
clear presentation of the gospel of salvation. Liberalism required
that Truth be defined as that which could be tested by the scientific
method, conformed to the standards of reason and related to human
experience. As a result, many definitive Christian beliefs were
called into question. Such things as the virgin birth of Christ,
the miracles of Christ, and even the sin nature of mankind were
examined and discarded by the “higher criticism” of
Modernism is a close
ally of Liberalism. Modernist theologians and philosophers questioned
the inerrancy of Scripture. They declared
that the value of Christianity was in its high moral standards
rather than in its allegiance to absolute Truth. They saw history,
not as God’s working out His plan of salvation, but as man
becoming more highly developed, or evolved, as a moral being.
The most recent “-ism” to
gain a following in religious and intellectual circles is Post-modernism.
As expressed in contemporary
theology, Post-modernism rejects much of modernism, but continues
to deny the existence of absolute truth. With its fluid definition
of truth, post-modernism focuses on relationships, love and tradition
as elements of a constantly changing foundation for any belief
system. The proponents of this ideology tend to interpret Scripture
in pragmatic applications. This makes it appropriate for each individual
or group to define what is acceptable or true based on personal
experience and what seems to work in daily life.
The Symptoms of Truth Denial
Paul warned the Colossian church against “. . . hollow and
deceptive philosophy, which depends on human traditions and the
basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians
2:8) When our society succumbs to the modern human ideologies defined
above, our faith is eroded and our morality declines. We move away
from the strong foundation of Scripture to the shifting sands of
Our view of God is one of the first things to suffer when we drift
away from absolute faith in the Bible as the Word of God. Is God
absolutely sovereign, or is He limited by the choices made by individuals
and nations? Does He control the progress of history, or is He
simply watching the unfolding of human events? Does the Lord direct
events in the Middle East, or are His hands tied as opposing forces
battle for ascendancy in religion and the control of oil? If we
give in to the humanistic thinking of the liberal theologians,
we place ourselves under a cloud of uncertainty and despair. Nothing
in our values says the same from day to day. No wonder the daily
news broadcast makes us shake our heads at how out-of-control the
world seems to be.
If the Bible is not
the inerrant, authoritative Word of God, we have no foundation
for any kind of hope and no guidance in making
moral decisions. We should join Frank Sinatra in singing, “It
can’t be wrong if it feels so right.” We ought to agree
that the Ten Commandments have no value except as representative
statements of an outdated religious system. Why shouldn’t
they be removed from every classroom, courthouse and capital building
in the land? Since marriage can be defined according to what works
in each individual’s life, why not declare homosexual unions
to be legitimate? It’s no big deal that co-habitation and
divorce are acceptable practices among just as many professing
Christians as in the population at large. Neither should anyone
be concerned when an unborn human baby is thought to be merely
a “product of conception” that lives or dies at the
whim of his mother.
Every area of life is affected when we join liberal theologians
and post-modern philosophers in viewing Scripture as only an interesting
sampling of ancient myths and moral teachings. Once we buy into
the idea that even parts of the Bible are erroneous or non-authoritative,
we have no basis for declaring that some things are inherently
right and others are inherently wrong. Our moral compass becomes
worthless. We find that our lives are anchored in the shifting
sand Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:21-27.
Eternal Implications of Absolute Truth
In addition to its importance in moral decisions and guidance for
life, what we believe about God’s Word determines our eternal
destiny. When a person begins to set aside absolute truth and
the sovereignty of God, he places himself in a position to experience
God’s wrath at the judgment rather than God’s blessing.
Consider these straightforward, black-and-white statements from
“I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient time,
what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who
loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too
will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains
on him.” (John 3:36)
Clearly, truth matters.
It is imperative that each person who calls himself “Christian” understands
two things: (1) That the Bible is the inspired, authoritative
and inerrant word
of God. It is to serve as the foundation of our faith and as our
guide for making life decisions. (2) That we mere humans have no
right to pick and choose what portions of Scripture we will believe.
Making an error in either of these foundational principles of our
faith result in eternal disaster for our souls and the souls of
anyone we influence.
Standing upon the Bible in Ministry
So, what will our ministry to young people look like if we are
standing firmly upon, rather than close to, the Bible? We suggest
that leaders who truly believe in the authority of Scripture
will teach it without apology. They will encourage and challenge
group members to biblical commands and principles, even though
they run counter to the thinking of their friends. They will
help teens analyze both the eternal and temporal benefits of
heart-felt obedience compared to any gains that might result
from compromise. They will also demonstrate through their words
and their lives an absolute devotion to obedience to God’s
Word that sacrifices immediate pleasure for eternal blessing.
As they stake their lives upon their faith in God and His Word,
they will encourage their young disciples to join in the great
adventure of living as children of the King of Kings and Lord
Then, the members our youth groups will able to honestly sing
the original version of the song:
Yes, that’s the Book for me.
I stand alone on the Word of God,
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